Sitting underneath the light of a full moon, in shadows of
the Big Top Tent
hearing the booming voice of my father, the ringmaster
echo into the night air.
A spectacle of colored lights dancing, shooting across the sky
the painted clowns come out for laughs
the jugglers and cyclists their stunts
the music marching in bright, lively tones with the elephants
prancing with the hooves of horses
matching the gaiety of the crowd.
Then, the music swells – stops.
All is still as fierce tigers appear, wondrous sights
a hush falling over the ring as lights dim.
Above, my mother, the trapezist, waits to fly
soaring above danger, her costume sparkling like diamonds
in the bright fluorescent, blinding spotlight.
The audience stares, transfixed, as tiger stripes streak through rings
sizzling, swirling with fire.
Mother launches into the air above, I hold my breath —
graceful as a ballerina she flys
landing safely on the other side.
I breathe out, close my eyes
listen to the roar of the audience
inside this spectacle of life, this rainbow bazaar
this show of cotton candy dreams, surrounded by
this circus family of mine.
Copyright July 25 2016 Stacie Eirich
This poem is one that I was already working on for my novel – as a means to understanding one of my characters – the child who you hear speaking through this poem, a child of the circus. This weekend’s poetry challenge over at Toads also happens to include the Circus as a theme–so I’m happy to share it there too.
Last, I cannot close this post without mentioning that I have a friend from childhood, Ms. Diana Dorethy, who is now working and travelling within a circus as a dancer & performing artist. Writing this poem made me think of her (though my book character is purely fictional) – she is following her passion, sharing her art. She has given me permission to share some of her circus photos with you! Here they are. Check out the circus website — they are currently performing in the Seattle area but travel all over the United States: Venardos Circus
Thanks for visiting and reading! Have a magical day. 🙂